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All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry
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All Our Pretty Songs (edition 2013)

by Sarah McCarry

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1801297,592 (3.34)3
Member:BookConfessions
Title:All Our Pretty Songs
Authors:Sarah McCarry
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2013), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
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All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
"I'm not a hero," I say. "I'm a bitch."

this was excellent. ( )
  eaduncan | Sep 14, 2017 |
It's kind of like a modern day story of two codependent best friends and the musician who enters their lives, flavored with echoes of Weetzie Bat, RPF about Frances Bean Cobain, and the Sandman. I loved the prose, the love triangle (and lbr, I typically roll my eyes at those), and the way the story handles itself as a retelling of the myth of Orpheus. There are so many things this book did so well, and I can't wait to read more by this author. ( )
  Gretchening | Jul 20, 2017 |
Two girls grow up, as close (or closer) as sisters, until a boy and a strange man (?) come between them. Aurora is the daughter of a famous musician, who died when she very young; her mother still spends most of her days in a drug-induced haze. It's up to her best friend (whose name we never learn -- she's simply the narrator of this tale) to protect Aurora, who is described as lovely and other-worldly, from herself. The girls spend their days together -- watching movies in Aurora's bed, partying hard, dancing in mosh pits at concerts, etc. One day they meet a musician named Jack, a beautiful man/boy, who enraptures the narrator, and seems to set them on a course to be torn apart.

This is a very strange book. The first half or so is actually pretty compelling and interesting. The story of Aurora and the narrator's friendship is fascinating, and their "girls gone wild" story is plausible, if not a little much. Aurora's mom could clearly care less where her daughter is. The narrator's mom, Cass, was friends with Aurora's mom, but they clearly fought when the girls were young and are not on speaking terms, though Cass cares deeply for Aurora. This is all good stuff.

Once Jack arrives and Aurora meets Minos, a bizarre music producer, things get weird. The book takes on this mystical, paranormal feel, and it's just strange. It almost feels like this part of the plot was forced into what was otherwise just a good (really, good) story about friendship and teenage girls and life. I won't go into many more details about the plot, but the narrator basically goes on a quest, which I didn't completely understand and then the book just ends, leaving you hanging and everything unresolved. And despite the fact that there is another book in the series, it looks to be about the girls' mothers, not the girls, therefore giving me no resolution whatsoever! Grr.

That's not to say that McCarry's writing isn't lovely. It's a beautiful, poetic book - almost too much at times, as I found myself practically skimming to get to the actual plot. The narrator was a compelling character, and the whole story was so well-written that I could imagine every person, every wild party, every journey. I just think that it almost would have been just as good, if not better, without all the crazy characters and odd mythology-type "stuff" thrown in. But what do I know, really? And I'll probably read the second book out of total curiosity because Maia (Aurora's mom) and Cass were pretty fascinating.

This was probably closer to 2.5 stars for my overall feeling at the end, but bumped up a bit for the beginning and the general writing. ( )
  justacatandabook | Mar 9, 2016 |
Beautifully written with poetic visuals, I would find myself getting lost in her descriptions of places, music, life. The lives of these two girls are so intertwined that at times I couldn't figure out if their relationship was sisterly, or like lovers. The narrator is the more stable of the two girls and Aurora is so ethereal she almost doesn't seem real. Gorgeous and reckless Aurora often gets herself into difficult situations that the narrator saves her from and every now and then Aurora's madness filters over onto the narrator.

Aurora and the narrator's mothers are best friends - one is stable the other not so much, much like their children. The narrator's mother claims to be a witch and is very worried about her daughter and her friend. She thinks there is evil lurking around and wants to try to protect them. As Aurora and Jack become entrenched with a man named Minos, they may end up on a path that our narrator cannot travel. As much as she loves them both, the narrator isn't sure if she can save them or if they even want to be saved.

This book is both beautiful and dangerous. The supernatural elements of the book are woven throughout making you unsure whether it is really happening or if it is in the narrators imagination.
I found it interesting that you never learn the name of the narrator. We follow her, love with her, and are scared with her but we never learn her name, making her an enigma. I loved that she was mysterious, yet I felt like I knew her.

I don't think I have ever read a book like this before and I'm glad I found this one. I can't wait to read the next two books of this trilogy and hope that they are just as poetic and mysterious as this one. ( )
  ReadingGrrl | Jul 15, 2015 |
Fantastic, magical, breathtaking. It was a wonderful journey, mixed in with tales of the Pacific Northwest, the Weetzie Bat version (meant only as a compliment - I loved those books). I can see another generation of young readers growing up with Sarah McCarry's books. ( )
  Caryn.Rose | Mar 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I love this book; I love the writing; I love that it’s the reader’s choice as to whether or not to believe that Cass is a witch; I love the complicated look at love and lust, ambition, family. So, yes a Favorite Book Read in 2014.
 
(Starred review.) Haunting, otherworldly and heartbreaking.
added by karenb | editKirkus Reviews (Jun 15, 2013)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah McCarryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gorovoy, AnnaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyons, ElsieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
What, then, could she complain of,
except that she had been loved?
--Ovid
At least I have the flowers of myself,
and my thoughts, no god
can take that.
--H.D.
Dedication
First words
Aurora and I live in a world without fathers.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 125002708X, Paperback)

In Sarah McCarry's brilliant debut young adult novel, set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all.  In All Our Pretty Songs, the real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:32 -0400)

In the Pacific Northwest, the bond between two best friends is challenged when a mysterious and gifted musician comes between them and awakens an ancient evil.

(summary from another edition)

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